Twelve-year-old Timothy has cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic illness that affects the lungs and digestive system. Despite the challenges he faces, his passion for studying life under the sea has always shined through, inspiring his wish to be a marine biologist.
Wish granters threw Timothy an ocean-themed send-off party at the Cleveland Aquarium, complete with cake, punch and even a visit from the aquarium mascot, Sandy the Shark! For his wish, he and his family were flown to Hawaii to go to the world-renowned Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology where Timothy was able to meet and study sea organisms with real marine biologists.
Timothy got to spend quality time in the lab examining slides under the microscope with his fellow marine biologists. After he got his ‘sea legs’ in the lab, he was invited into the action and onto the boat to go and collect plankton samples! Timothy’s face was filled with pure joy as he boarded the boat and headed for the open ocean.
On his trip, Timothy also participated in the statewide Sanctuary Ocean Count of the humpback whale because it was peak whale season. It was a beautiful day filled with sunshine as Timothy sat on the beach and observed the whales, just like a marine biologist.
“He had an absolute blast and it was the healthiest he’s ever been,” Timothy’s mother, Christine, remarked. “He thoroughly enjoyed all of these new experiences and even presented what he learned to his class when we returned.”
Timothy’s wish to be a marine biologist allowed him to live out one of his greatest dreams in life. He and his family were able to stop thinking about the doctor’s visits and the challenges of everyday life to create lasting joyous memories.